Posts Tagged ‘green reductionism’


Green lawnmower creates its own fuel from grass. Source: EcoMow

Unfortunately reality is not linear or Newtonian. It is complex and eco-systemic. But in 2014 we still think linear and here is one example. Products like Ecomow are examples of the trap that linear thinking poses to sustainability. This lawnmower is not a truly green solution as it perpetuates our current ecologically dis-functional status quo and the actual root cause of the environmental problem.

That cause is not so much the pollution and resource depletion associated with the use gasoline motors in lawn mowers but the man-made creation of the lawn in the first place. The environmental cost of turning prairies or forests into lawns means the destruction of habitat, life and the ecosystems that collectively sustain our life.

Promoting products like these is ironically worse than keeping the dirty old-fashioned gas option which can raise awareness about the un-sustainability of the whole system, lawn plus lawn mower. By reducing greenness from the complete system to just one single element of the system, the lawn mower, I will admit there is some reduction in the environmental footprint. However such improvement is more than offset by the loss of opportunity to educate on the ecological damage of lawns and reduce the demand for lawns.

This type of reductionist green thinking is common to the implementation of many clean technologies such as renewable energy generators without the required energy storage.  Eco-reductionism prevents the development of creativity that is needed to assure the radical transformation in our human socio-technical infrastructure that it will take to assure a healthy and sustainable future.

It is time to stop taming wild Nature. It is time to close down this grotesque environmental circus. It is time for humans to integrate back in the natural landscape without tampering with it, without domesticizing it and degenerating it like we have done since we became so called ‘civilized’ from wild life and peoples to food. Let’s learn from the wisdom of our indigenous ancestors who mastered what we now has become a leading field in real sustainability: Integrative Design. 



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